TAKING OVER: Elle writer Andrew Goldman is Deborah Solomon’s successor for the “Questions For” column in The New York Times Magazine. Goldman’s column will make its debut early next month and will be part of magazine editor Hugo Lindgren’s relaunched Sunday magazine.
“He does good interviews,” said Lindgren. “He’s a good journalist.”
Goldman has been doing his monthly Cherchez La Femme column for Elle in a Q&A format since 2003. In the columns, Goldman interviewed “cute boys about women,” he said. By which he means: celebrities about their dating histories, best pick-up lines, etc. (Here’s an example from April. “Elle: What’s the most wounding thing a woman has ever said to you? Michael Douglas: Getting no response whatsoever is probably the most demeaning.”)
Starting March 6, Goldman will presumably address some heavier topics as well.
“I can certainly interview Donald Rumsfeld as well as I can interview Ashton Kutcher,” he said. “No, it’s not gonna be cute boys and cute girls. It’ll be smart guys and smart women.”
Goldman said his Questions For column will “be pretty much the same format” as Solomon’s.
Solomon — who has been let go by Lindgren — ran into some trouble in 2007 when it was reported she edited her columns by occasionally changing how she actually phrased a question. When asked about the pitfalls that journalists can fall into when jamming things into a Q&A format, Goldman said, “I’ve always prided myself in really going by the book of accurately reflecting how conversations went down.”
Goldman’s last Cherchez La Femme column will appear in the June issue.
— John Koblin
OUT WITH THE OLD…: Housecleaning has taken a decidedly cordial tone at Tina Brown’s Newsweek. No layoffs for now, but on Wednesday the company offered voluntary buyouts to one third of the remaining old Newsweek editorial staff (about 30 of 90 legacy staffers) encompassing a dozen different job classifications. A spokesman for the magazine declined to comment on who was being targeted, but the magazine’s Web staff is a fair guess.
According to Newspaper Guild of New York president Bill O’Meara, buyout offers included a minimum of four months severance pay and a “sweetener” amount correlated with the employee’s tenure. O’Meara said the severance negotiations between the guild and representatives of Brown and owner Sidney Harman lasted a “couple of weeks” and were “very amicable,” although for some employees, the buyout offers didn’t stack up to offers from The Washington Post Co. before the sale.
“There are no plans for layoffs,” O’Meara stressed. “Nobody has a crystal ball.…We’re all obviously very much hoping that Tina Brown’s plan will have a lot of success in the future and ultimately that’s where the jobs will [come from]. “If it’s not successful,” he added, “I guess we’ll see how it goes.”
— Zeke Turner
SMALL TALK: Stella McCartney has tapped Ryan McGinley to shoot the ad campaign for her first stand-alone collection of children’s wear. The spring collection, produced via a venture with Redcats, the PPR-owned fashion and home furnishings retail giant, will be sold at the designer’s 14 freestanding stores and at stores including Selfridges, Harrods, Galeries Lafayette and Isetan. The collection will launch on March 2 on stellamccartneykids.com, and be in stores a week later. The brand will also have its own Facebook page and iPhone app. The ads, shot in a studio and featuring kids swinging from a carousel horse, will break in the launch issue of Lucky Kids in the U.S., and in the April issues of Milk in France, Junior in the U.K. and Elle Junior in Italy.
— Samantha Conti